U.S. twins fall to Croatia in doubles

Associated Press
Published March 6, 2005

CARSON, Calif.- Twins Mike and Bob Bryan lost a doubles match for the first time in Davis Cup play Saturday and Croatia took the lead against the favored United States.

Ivan Ljubicic and Mario Ancic defeated the Bryans 3-6, 7-6 (8), 6-4, 6-4 for Croatia's second win in three matches in the best-of-five first round.

The Bryans were 5-0 in Davis Cup going in against Ljubicic and Ancic, bronze medalists in the 2004 Olympics and playing Davis Cup doubles together for just the second time.

Down 2-1, the Americans' hopes rest with Andy Roddick and Andre Agassi and their remaining singles matches.

Roddick plays Ljubicic in Sunday's first match, then Agassi will face Ancic in the fifth and final match - if the Croatians haven't clinched by then.

Croatia ousted the United States in the opening round of the 2003 Cup play, the only previous meeting between the two countries.

SLOVAKIA 3, SPAIN 0: At Bratislava, Slovakia, defending champion Spain was eliminated when Slovakia took an insurmountable 3-0 lead with a doubles victory.

Karol Beck and Michal Mertinak, playing together in Davis Cup doubles for the first time, beat Albert Costa and Rafael Nadal 7-6 (3), 6-4, 7-6 (8) to move Slovakia into the quarterfinals for the first time since 2000.

Spain, which beat the United States to win its second Davis Cup just three months ago, was playing without three of its top players - Carlos Moya, Tommy Robredo and Juan Carlos Ferrero.

ARGENTINA 3, CZECH REPUBLIC 0: At Buenos Aires, Argentina, David Nalbandian and Guillermo Canas edged Tomas Zib and Jan Hernych 6-3, 4-6, 6-1, 6-2 to give Argentina a spot in the quarterfinals. Argentina will face Australia in the quarterfinals.

AUSTRALIA 3, AUSTRIA 0: At Sydney, Australia, Wayne Arthurs and Todd Woodbridge beat Alexander Peya and Julian Knowle, 4-6, 6-3, 2-6, 6-4, 7-5 to put Australia into the quarterfinals.

BELARUS 2, ROMANIA 1: At Brasov, Romania, Max Mirnyi and Vladimir Voltchkov teamed up to beat Andrei Pavel and Gabriel Trifu 7-6 (3), 6-3, 6-4 to give Belarus the lead.

RUSSIA 2, CHILE 1: At Moscow, Marat Safin and Mikhail Youzhny beat Fernando Gonzalez and Adrian Garcia 6-3, 6-4, 6-3 to put Russia ahead. In Sunday's reverse singles, Safin was to play Gonzalez, while Youzhny was to face Garcia.

FRANCE 2, SWEDEN 1: At Strasbourg, France, Arnaud Clement and Michael Llodra beat Simon Aspelin and Jonas Bjorkman 7-6 (5), 6-4, 6-7 (4), 6-4 to give France the lead.

NETHERLANDS 2, SWITZERLAND 1: At Fribourg, Switzerland, Yves Allegro and George Bastl fought off three match points to beat Dennis Van Scheppingen and Peter Wessels 5-7, 4-6, 7-6 (5), 7-5, 9-7 and keep Switzerland alive.